Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Currentph is my new baby

Hey guys, what's up?

Sorry, if I was'nt able to write stuff here at this site. I was so busy populating my new baby https://currentph.com that I forgot to write here. I intend to link this site with http://www.currentph.com.

Please follow me there.

Currentph.com is a great site because it is extraordinary. It is not your usual blog which lacks an editorial segment. We have a team of veteran journalists who curate the news items written by our five man team of content producers. We also have correspondents from different beats.

If you want relevant and truthful narration of facts, information, and expert opinions, visit https://currentph.com.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Mr. Duterte's Illusory 5-min drive from Makati to Cubao

President Duterte is at it again. After drawing real flak for his failure to address the drug problem within six months, reconcile with state enemies within a year, exterminate oligarchs within two and create peace and stability in Mindanao for the first two years of his administration, Mr. Duterte has again threw out another illusion in the public sphere-- Makati-to-Cubao in just five minutes. He even predicted when this might happen---in September of this year. And true to form, our Highway Patrol Group (HPG) stood behind the President's bravado by providing the media with "scientific evidence" of the President's 5-minute claim.

I don't know if many people still believe in Mr. Duterte's words. I will wager my salary and say that surveys will surely not reflect what the people really think about Mr. Duterte at this point. Our president has practically threw in the towel by saying this and even admitted other monumental failings like:

1. The incendiary South and Martial law. Mindanao is still a dangerous place to go to despite the imposition of martial law. What Mr. Duterte does not admit and probably would not ever admit is the radicalization process on-going in that part of the Philippines. Mr. Duterte is prone to quick fixes but I think what is happening there is beyond the calculations made by his hawks. They think they can effectively suppress people's anti-state sentiments there by barricading and creating walls, by deploying pro-state religious groups and by using sophisticated technologies. The situation in Mindanao right now is heading towards disaster and Mr. Duterte's admission says a lot on how helpless the state is in addressing this humongous problem.

2. Graft and corruption. The prevalence of graft and corruption is one thing that Mr. Duterte assured us that this is within his powers. Yet, Mr. Duterte seemed too reluctant firing his frontliners who have committed grave sins against the people. Talk about political will, and being a toughie, Mr. Duterte seemed a feline when it comes to this arena. Probably, because he personally believes that graft and corruption is one harmless thing like how people in government perceive jueteng-- nothing fancy, nothing lethal-- just taking what they think is due them.

3. The drug problem. Instead of lessening the incidence of drug addiction in our communities, sources within the PNP says the situation has worsened. Drug syndicates have flooded our streets with cheap methamphetamines and the PNP seemed helpless in stemming its tide. Worse, designer drugs are also being consumed by more people now than before.

4. Water and power crises. This crisis, to be perfectly honest about it, shows how people both in the private and government sectors perceive private-public initiatives-- just money making ventures. People have been paying a lot for their water and electricity. Water companies have the responsibility of modernizing their facilities but they are not doing so because they are only after profits. Nothing wrong with this except that these services are considered basic for the normal operations of a society such as ours and commercializing these things is to my mind, entirely cruel and immoral.

5. West Philippine Sea issue--- This has caught the ire mainly of rich and middle class segments of Philippine society. The seemingly innocuous foreign policy of Mr. Duterte has affected not just political but trade relations with other countries. Worse, it likewise portrayed or place the Philippines in an extremely bad light.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Brewing revolution in Philippines

I just read a Deloitte Philippines survey on Filipino millennials. Like what I shared with you my dear readers a year or two ago, trust with institutions is going steadily southward, as people are getting further impatient with the way things are being managed on the socio-political and economic sphere. The ongoing financial and economic malaise is starting to affect the lives of millennials. And the overwhelming perception is that politics has something to do with it. That explains why millennials regard authority figures as negative influencers.

I will not anymore discuss the results of the survey and one can find it here at this link: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1134127/ph-millennials-have-low-trust-in-political-leaders-journalists-says-study. What this survey shows is that the Filipino youth is beginning to rouse from its stupor. They know the problem and they are trying to find a personal solution on these problems.

The thing right now is that there are a few outlets by which millennials can actively go to to satiate that desire to do something. Formalized institutions such as the National Youth Commission (NYC) or the Kabataang Barangay (KB) are perceived negatively and even contributory to the problems. The ongoing issue against former NYC chair Ronald Cardema has effectively negated the Commission as the legitimate venue for youth expressions. Instead of helping the NYC recover from years of negative perception, Cardema actually harmed or injured the body permanently.

I surmise that a segment of this sector is already radicalized by non-state actors in their respective localities. The worse thing about this is the possibility of this segment veering towards syndicated criminal groups which promises both personal and social upliftment. This is already being noticed by police authorities as more members of the youth are either being arrested or killed during drug sting operations.

Revival of the Opposition

Dont write the opposition off--not at this point.

The legitimate oppositionist group, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is now at an excellent position to provide a net for this radicalized youth segment. As admitted by the chair of the state's National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), the state is losing in the propaganda war and this is expected since the poster boy of the oligarchs and political opportunists, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is losing his political capital fast what with his flip-flopping in the China issue and the ongoing water and power crises. Charges of corruption are compounding these crises and inevitably, these things will surely come to a head sooner or later.

However, the CPP must realize that for it to achieve its objectives, the Party may need to review its current socio-economic and political analysis and conform it with the times. I will not expand this further.

Last elections, the Liberal Party was able to effectively organize more than 150,000 volunteers, majority of them members of the youth sector. As I told my friend over there, this is somewhat a surety because the LP can organize these youth sector members as frontliners in LP activities and train them as their future leaders.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Hongkong protests may signal more problems for Chin

China does not seem to understand.

When big multinational and even local companies are already in sympathy with the people of Hongkong, the Chinese Communist Party should try to listen. While the extradition law which the Hongkong legislature and the Central Committee tries to implement seemed rational, and consistent with China's core strategic policies of inclusion, China must recognize that Hongkong and other territories like Taiwan and Macau are peopled with individuals who were born outside the mainland, and therefore, are expectedly resistant of China's laws and policies. The recognition of "one country, two systems" is the only bond that has worked for Hongkong-West and China.

Hongkong serves nothing more than a financial hub. It is not a major industrial manufacturing hub. It is a port which bridges the West to the East. Western capitalists are not necessarily keen on operating under China's socialism, for reasons as old as the Cold War.

The peoples of Hongkong realizes this and placing them into the legal jurisdiction of China violates the earlier agreed "one country, two systems," principle. Hongkongers know that if such a law is implemented, it will discourage Western firms from having headquarters in the island. That would further affect the economy which has maintained a steady yet dismal 2% growth since the nineties. Lesser investments mean less income for Hongkongers who depend on foreigners and tourists for their survival.

In a way, what is happening in China is a struggle against a principle which violates another well established principle. China wants nothing more than make Hongkong a part of a bigger and larger economy like China yet doing so also means sacrificing the inflow of foreign investments into the island and eventually, to China.

And the timing is really not ideal. China's economic growth has slowed and I think economists within the Party thinks that by controlling Hongkong, it would at least stem the slow growth. This is a wrong assumption. China's productive capacity is slowing because of decreasing demand orders.

China's acts may impinged on Hongkong's economy, and it may even affect China's overall economic growth.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

80s and 90s defined 2019

Admit it--- eighties and nineties acts defined contemporary music now. Pop, r&b and alternative acts right now owe the Spice Girls, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Oasis, Nirvana, George Michael of Wham, Culture Club and others some credit. These people influenced their music.

I want to particularly mention the brave girls of rock and roll and pop for setting the cultural standard that defined that generation and in a way, this generation. Listening to those music now makes me extremely proud that I lived during those times when they were still actively producing excellent material.

With the exception of Madonna, Lauper and the Spice Girls, some of these people had already retired or had already passed on. Yet their music lingers on. Listen to their music and theirs seemed like its new materiel.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Spice Girls Reunion Tour now on!

The iconic girl band which captured the Gen X is now on a reunion tour. Without Posh spice (Viktoria Beckham), Scary (Mel B),  Ginger (Gerri Hallowell), Baby (Emma Bunton) and Sporty (Melanie C) went to the Dublin stage amidst thousands of shrieking fans.

Though the show went well, acoustic problems attended the entire show.

No explanation was provided why Posh spice was not there. Some say Posh spice had scheduling problems (kung ayaw, me paraan. Kung gusto, matutuloy).

How about Asia, huh, Spice girls?

My New Darna: Top 10 names for possible Darna

As expected, the beautiful Liza Soberano decided not to continue shooting the new darna series over at ABS-CBN 2. Her handlers say the role was physically tiring for the young actress and a finger injury was the one that broke the camel's back so to speak. She needs surgery and rest.

We all know what is truly the reason why Soberano backed out.

Soberano does not register as an authentic Darna except of course, if you want your Darna a darling matinee icon?

Soberano is a class all by herself. The fact is, Soberano a beautiful specimen of good American and Filipino genes and her face should instead, light up a thousand Western or US magazines. Or, maybe, audition for a role in a US show or film.

But, to be the Darna for the new generation, Tarrog and the other guys over at ABS-CBN 2 are gravely mistaken. Darna is not just some bimbo out there wearing a bikini with belt and a cowboy's lasso. Nope.

Darna is a personification of the Filipina woman, an iconic figure brought forth from the annals of Philippine history. What endeared Darna to the Filipino public is not a half-exposed boob, no.

Darna must personlify the beauty of the Filipina, the strength of her heart, exudes authority from her very skin and Respect is key.

Look at the long lines of actresses who portrayed Darna. Most of them are iconic figures before they donned the Darna suit, i.e., Vilma Santos, Sharon Cuneta, even Anjanette Abayari and Nanette Medved. Before Marian Rivera or Angel Locsin agreed to swallow the magical stone and turn themselves into Darna, they were already known to be beautiful ladies with down to earth attitudes and a highly dynamic public persona.

Soberano does not have those.

Who, then, do I think worthy of taking Soberano's place as Darna?

1. Pia Wurtzbach---- has the looks, the x-factor and probably the thespian skills to be THE Darna.

2. Bela Padilla--- she maybe be mestiza but she has that x-factor. She can be a sultry lady at one time and a virgin in another. After her highly successful stint as wife of the probinsyano, it is time for Bella to have her own show and Darna, I think is it.

3.Yen Santos--- has the body, the face to die for and I think, the chops to do the role.

4. Ariella Arida--- though she needs some acting workshop and training, Ariella has the appeal, the body and the attitude to make it into Darna.

5.  Maja Salvador--- she does not need my push. This girl rocks.

6. Bea Alonso

7. Sue Ramirez--- she is the rock n roll version of Darna. May appeal to Millennials.

8. Jessy Mendiola--- enuf said.

9. Valeen Montenegro--yes, yes, a Kapuso star. But for Darna, maybe the big bosses of GMA would allow her.

10. Kim Domingo--- this may yet boost her career to stratospheric heights!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Liham Para sa mga Kapatid na Pilipino

Sa ating mga kapatid na Pilipino,

Habang tayo ay naghihintay sa ating halalan sa Lunes, tila baga umuusad ang mga araw ng napakabagal. Tatlong araw pa, ngunit sadya yatang naglalaro ang ating Kapalaran at alalaong baga’y ang mga segundo ay tila minuto kung susumahin.  

Binibigyan ba tayo ng Maykapal ng sapat pang panahon upang makapagmuni-muni sa ating mga gagawin sa araw ng halalan? Samu’t-saring mga bagay ang ating pinagkakaabalahan at karamihan sa atin ay abala sa paghahanap-buhay o kaya ay pag-aalaga sa ating mga mahal sa buhay. Kaya naman, bagaman batid ng bawat isa ang kahalagahan ng halalang ito, lahat din naman tayo ay may pananaw na kung ikukumpara sa isang halalang pampanguluhan, ang darating na halalan sa Lunes ay para sa isang kapulungang naging katatawanan sa iilan at walang halaga naman sa karamihan.

Kaya naman, hindi kataka-taka na sa mga nakalipas na halalan, naihalal natin sa Senado ang mga taong mayroong popularidad kaysa kapasidad. Nalulungkot aniya si dating Senador Rene Saguisag bunga diumano ng pagbaba ng kalidad ng mga namumunuan sa Mataas na Kapulungan. May basehan ang kanyang pananaw sapagkat ilang dekada ang nakaraan, karamihan sa mga naihalal ng taumbayan sa kapulungang ito ay may mataas na antas ng kaalaman, mayroong busilak na reputasyon at inani ang kanilang pagkahalal sa direktang pagsisilbi sa bayan. 

Ngayon, namamayani sa mga sarbeys ang ilang mga walang kakayanan at ilang nakitaan ng katiwalian mismo ng mga hukuman. Dahil sa nailagay sa mga pahayagan, tinatanggap na ang mga sarbeys na ito bilang katotohanan batay diumano sa karanasan at dahilan sa siyentipikong pamamaraan. 

Muli tayong nililinlang at ipinamumukha sa atin na kailangan nating sumunod sa dikta ng sarbey. Sila ang paborito ng balana, sabi ng sarbey at masasayang lamang ang boto mo kung hindi ka susunod sa uso.

Paano bang iboboto mo ang isang pogi pero tiwali? Isang anak daw ng masa ngunit nagpasasa sa buwis ng balana? Isang beterano na sa pulitika ngunit tulad ni pogi at ni Estrada, nasama sa listahan ng mga pulitikong nanlinlang sa sambayanan?

Anong gagawin ng isang utusan sa mataas na kapuluan? Palagian ba siyang tatawag sa telepono para hingin ang pananaw ng kanyang prinsipal sa oras ng debatehan? Kaninong interes kaya ang kanyang isusulong kapagka naihalal sa Senado? Sa isang tao na bigla biglang naging pamoso sa kagyat na panahon, tiyak kong marami itong pinagkakautangan ng loob. Malalaki at dambuhalang interes ang kanyang isusulong.

Talaga bang iboboto mo ang isang anak ng napatunayan nang nagnakaw sa kaban ng bayan at ginawang gatasan ang sambayanan? Hindi lang tayo niloko na may diploma daw sa isang pamantasang pamoso, niloloko pa tayo ng isang katiwaliang kontrata sa mismong probinsya nito.

Araw-araw, pinakikinggan natin sa mga radyo at nakikita sa telebisyo ang iba’t-ibang mga anunsyo, ang iba’y inaaliw tayo ng mga sayaw, ang ilan nama’y nagpapa-alaala sa atin ng kani-kanilang mga ginawang serbisyo publiko, na tila baga pinapa alala sa atin ang ating utang na loob sa kanila sa pagseserbisyo nila sa publiko, samantalang sa katotohanan, wala namang pumilit sa kanila na puma imbulog sa pulitika kung hindi ang sarili nilang pagtataya at naising protektahan ang kani-kanilang mga pansariling interes. 

Sa lahat lahat nang ito, ang tanong sa atin ay--- ano ang dikta ng konsensya mo? Masisilaw ka ba sa salapi at katanyagan pero me hungkag na kaisipan? Kumbisido ka bang bigyan pa ng pagkakataon ang mga kandidatong nagnakaw na ng pera ng bayan noon at nakikiusap ibalik sila sa Senado ngayon? Sapat na bang aliwin ka ng sayaw, ng comedy skits at pagkanta sa entablado kapalit ng boto mo? 

Utak at konsensya dapat nating ipagana lalo na sa halalang ito. Kung hindi tayo magiging mapagmatyag at seryoso, tiyak kong ilalagay natin ang bayan sa tunay na peligro.

Nag-aantabay ang Tsina sa di kalayuan. Kritikal para sa kanila ang susunod na tatlong taon. 

Bilyon-bilyon ang kapital na ibinuhos ng Tsina sa Pilipinas. Kailangan nilang protektahan ang mga ito. Tatlong taon na lamang ang administrasyong ito. Kailangang maipatatag ng Tsina ang kanilang impluwensya sa mga kapulungang tulad ng Senado sapagkat dito kinikilatis ang mga kontrata at kasunduang pinasukan ng administrasyong Duterte. 

Kung hindi babantayan ng mga galamay ng Pangulo ang Senado, may makakalusot na kontrobersya tiyak maski isa o dalawa sa mga kontratang pinasukan ng pamahalaang ito. Naipakita na ng Senado bilang isang institusyon ang kakayahan at kapangyarihan nitong ipawalang bisa ang mga kontrata at tratadong minsan nang pinasukan ng gobyerno. 

Kung magpapadala tayo sa uso, magigising na lamang tayo sa isang Senado na utus-utusan lamang ng Ehekutibo. Mawawalan tayo ng isang institusyong magbabantay sa ating mga karapatan. Sisikip ang ating mga gagalawan sapagkat tiyak kong sa natitira pang tatlong taon, marami pang mga karapatang lalabagin ng estado sa ngalan ng pansariling interes ng mga namumunuan dito.

Patuloy na tataas ang mga bilihin sa manipulasyon ng mga kartel na malapit sa makapangyarihan. Mamamayani ang katiwalian, lalakas ang pagpapalusot sa mga pantalan at babaha ng mga makapamuksa at mapanganib na mga bagay na makasisira sa kalusugan ng mga bata, mga ina at mga matatanda. 

Tataas pa ang presyo ng kuryente, ng tubig, ng singil sa toll at ibang pang singilin sapagkat gagawa ng kaparaanan ang pamahalaan upang bayaran ang mga lumulobong pagkakautang nito sa mga dayuhan lalo na sa Tsina at sa mga bangko, lokal man o dayuhan.

Sa loob lamang ng tatlong taong nakaraan, nakita na natin ang paglala ng ating kalagayang panlipunan. Nanumbalik ang karahasan. Binabaha ng iligal na droga ang ating mga lansangan at pamayanan. Nanauli ang palakasan sa mga ahensya ng pamahalaan. Tumaas ang instansya ng katiwalian. 

Bagaman mayroong maraming mga mabubuting bagay ang naisagawa, tulad ng pagpapabilis sa serbisyo publiko, inililigaw tayo sa paniniwalang may kaayusan sa gobyerno gayong matingkad pa sa sikat nang araw na unti-unting ipinagbibili ang ating mga karapatan at mga batayang pagmamay-ari ng ating kapuluan sa mga dayuhan.

Sinasakal din ng mga dambuhalang interes ang pamunuan ng pamahalaan, na bagaman mayroong nagsisilbi dito nang may tunay at marubdob na pagnanais ng kaayusan at pagbabagong panlipunan, ay kinakain sila ng mga kalakarang mapamuksa at naililigaw din ng kinang ng kapangyarihan at kayamanan.

Tulad ng mga naganap sa bayan ng Sodom at Gomorrah bago sila puksain ng Maykapal, lumiit ang bilang ng mga banal sa bayang pangako. Anupa’t may halaga ang pagiging banal sa panahong mas uso ang maging hangal?

Magmuni-muni. Sundin ang utak at konsensya. May halaga ka sa pagbabago. Huwag sayangin ang boto mo. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A doomed BOL?

Yesterday's plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) reflects the unreported undercurrent of dissent by several segments of the population in Mindanao on this proposed counter-insurgency measure. A mayor from Cotabato described the electoral exercise as "violent" due to the enormous presence of a big number of MILF fighters in their area. Cotabato City mayor Cynthia Guyadi, who actively campaigned for a "no" vote, claimed of reported pockets of violence in several polling precincts. Several predominantly Christian areas in Mindanao are wary of the BOL inspite of the support President Duterte lent on it.

Let us call a spade a spade--this BOL proposal aims to quell the 15 year old insurgency being waged by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a splinter group of the Moro National Liberation Front (MILF) of Nur Misuari. Misuari led the very first large organization by Filipino Muslims which aspired or waged an armed struggle for the total separation of the Moro peoples from the Tagalog-dominated central government. This decision to separate came when the Philippine Government began seriously considering the re-acquisition of Sabah from the Malaysian Confederation. Previous to 1967, no serious effort was made by Filipino Muslims to call for the establishment of an independent state. Calls for a separate state only happened during the dictatorship of President Marcos and likewise, during periods of economic instabilities emanating from the center.

Political inclusion, which is basically the thing which several people claim to be the foremost call of the Bangsamoro peoples, has been given to the Bangsamoro eversince this Republic existed. Previous legislatures especially during the post-war and the pre-war periods, show a sizeable number of Mindanao-based politicians from prominent Muslim clans who occupied high posts in both Houses. Of course, there would be varying degrees of representation as years passed, but definitely the intention of giving representation has always been there for the Filipino Muslim clans based in Mindanao.

So, why did it changed during the sixties? Simple explanation--- Sabah.

Sabah is a territory owned by the Sultanate of Sulu. It is now a part of the Malaysian Confederation. There is sufficient historical evidence proving the ownership of these vast tracts of land to the Sultanate. Philippine president Macapagal initiated the call for the claim of Sabah as part of Philippine territory and it was during the time of Marcos that such calls became a priority government initiative. And what did the Filipino Muslims gave as an answer? A raging insurgency reportedly supported by its neighbor Malaysia, who has a direct stake in the claim of Sabah.

Giving now several parts of Mindanao to the MILF is a serious political complication. For one, the present BOL is just a mere shadow of its old self. Likewise, this BOL does not resolve and it actually and in fact, complicate internal matters in Mindanao simply on one issue alone---constitutionality. How can there be a separate "organic law" when the rationale behind the very establishment of an autonomous region was stated specifically by the very constitution which re-established this very same Republic? If as former Senate president Koko Pimentel III claims that the BOL is just a refinement of the previous ARMM, then, why is it that the BOL promotes a different legislative setup? Don't tell me that the Federal setup is part of Islamic culture or laws? I sincerely doubt the veracity of such a claim.

As an autonomous region, it does not necessarily follow that the process of legislation must be different from the rest of the process being exercised or practised by the rest of the political units of this Republic. The expectation really is for the autonomous region to have the exact legislative process as with the rest to avoid complications.

Several other factors affect the succes of the BOL which I will write on a later piece.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

IV of Spades Mundo (studio version)

I agree with one blogger that the studio version of "Mundo", the break out song of IV of Spades paled very much in comparison with their version of that song at 107.5 FM. It is such a muck up. Anyway, they still have time to repair such a monstrosity. They know it.

Here is the version I am talking about.


I just can't stop myself from comparing "Mundo" to the "Himig Natin" song of Juan Dela Cruz band. Like the Juan Dela Cruz band, IV of Spades made some dramatic promise that their every song was deliciously lapped up by every member of that generation. It made heroes out of three members of the band: Mike Hanopol, Pepe Smith (who remains very much active in the rock scene) and Wally Gonzalez.

Incidentally, it was in 1968 when the band was formed and it was in 1973 at the height of martial law that they released their most popular song which became still the rock anthem of Pinoy rockers.

Some say, this song "Mundo" is the "anthem song" of this millennial generation. Well, I really don't know about that.

The thing is, IV of Spades' sound seemed unique because it appeals not just to millennials but to true blue rockers of two or even three generations past. It just so happened that three cute faced youngsters are there showing us that they perfectly understood what other generations want to say.

Songs of IV of Spades seemed too perfectly arranged to be "commercially iconic" to a point of exhaustion. Backers of this band want us to accept this band as the "penultimate" when, to be perfectly honest about it, the band sound seemed too pop-rock. However, I still believe that with Blaster Silonga, Zild and Badjao there collaborating, these youngsters can still create more serious and more musically astute creations in the next few years.

Unique Salonga says he left the band to pursue "personal goals" which just meant that there are some problems in terms of management. I think he jams well with the rest of the band. For me, it is tooo soon for Unique to leave and carve his own.

This also happened with the Juan Dela Cruz band when Mike left and formed his own band, the Mike Hanopol band.

Anyway, with or without Unique, I think IV of Spades have years worth of time to figure out their own unique sound which they could really claim as their signature.

When surveys do not always reflect what is "out there"

Surveys are supposed to reflect social realities. When social researchers go to the field and conduct surveys, they expect to get truthful answers. But, what if people elect not to give truthful answers? They are either afraid of something or they give answers which reflect their "longing" instead of their perception of their true situation see link: http://www.sagaraconsulting.com/new-blog/2015/6/22/are-your-participants-being-dishonest-in-your-research

Getting untruthful answers in surveys are not uncommon. It happens especially when researchers pay respondents or if researchers always rely on the same group of respondents. Familiarity affects survey results. Respondents usually want to please the researcher see link: https://www.infosurv.com/5-reasons-why-survey-respondents-dont-tell-the-truth/

Another is that there is a practice among members of depressed urban communities. Whenever an unknown person goes to their community, they usually do not immediately open up. It takes a while for one to get truthful answers to questions.

I remember what my Lola explained why news reports during the Japanese occupation have shown a vast majority of Filipinos liking these chinky eyed invaders. " It's war, my son," says my Lola, " and you need to survive. So when someone asks you something, you give them what they want to hear."

Fear envelops even the most remote communities. That tokhang policy has been totally mucked up that it has created a climate of fear among members of communities. When one has been identified as "uncooperative," the possibility of that community member to be attacked looms.

There are several signs when things are not right.

First, it is the economy. When foreign investments are leaving the bourse in such speed, volume and ferocity, there is something terribly wrong.

Second, when less people go to the streets at night, there is something terribly wrong happening at grassroots level.

Third, when small eateries and shops are closing up, there is something acutely problematic. It shows people are not going out anymore.

Fourth, when retail outlets have ceased setting shop. It shows that people are not spending as expected.

Fifth, when there is an eerie silence in communities, something is afoot.

Government must be totally concerned that these symptoms are happening because it just shows there is now an undercurrent of dissent simmering below ground. These things usually happen prior to a big one. And surveys like seismometers, only measure the impact when it already happens.

UP Dharma Down, IV of Spades, ShantiDope, Unique

IV Of Spades
I'm definitely impressed with these youngsters, especially those of the UP DHARMA DOWN (I thought all of them are students of UP), IV of Spades, Shantidope and Unique.

Up Dharma Down is most unique in terms of sound. The fact is, Apple Music seemed clueless as to what genre the band belongs to. The band has renamed itself as UDD but I think they need to go back to their previous band name. UDD reminds one of a contraceptive. :-)

Up Dharma Down is classified as possessing "alternative sound" which I think is right. Their sound is pure class. And global, mind you.

IV of Spades must remain as a trio. The two guitarists and the drummer are highly talented young musicians. They seemed to be influenced by the VST and Company sound, the very sound promoted by Eat Bulaga where members of the band was discovered. By the way, Eat Bulaga has just celebrated their 40th anniversary.

Unique, which jammed with them seemed a very promising musician with an angst. If I were Unique, I would definitely jam with IV of Spades more so that I will not be associated with a toothpaste brand, joke! :-)

These young musicians should be supported so that their artistry will grow. They have a very unique musicality that is not just marketable but has impact.

One advice--just be yourselves. Do not be boxed just like how several industry men tried to box Eraserheads. I know they began as a commercial group but these youngsters should be allowed to blossom as artists of their own caliber sound.